Paying off student loan debt is an ongoing challenge for many people. Many find that it’s difficult to keep up with their monthly payments, especially if they aren’t able to find work in their chosen fields. If you’ve landed in this boat, you’re not alone! Many people go to college, only to discover that changing circumstances have made it difficult for them to seek employment in their preferred field. Once your grace period ends, it’s time to start paying off your student loans- but you’re struggling to do so. Maybe you have a child and have decided to stay at home, rather than heading straight back into the workforce (and acquiring daycare payments along with your other bills).
Maybe you’ve struggled to find gainful employment in your field.
Perhaps you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to work in a traditional office setting.
Whatever your situation may be, you are now in a unique position. You aren’t able to work a typical schedule at a traditional office, but you still have student loans that need to be paid off.
Do you need a solution that will allow you to work and earn money with more flexibility? Working from home could be a fantastic option that will allow you to have the best of all worlds–especially if you want to work as a freelancer, which will allow you to set your own schedule.
The Advantages of Freelancing
Working in a conventional office setting poses difficulties for many individuals. You have to arrive at a specific time and work for a set number of hours each day. If you have children you must find accommodation for them, especially if they are not yet in school. Additionally, If you do not live close to your office or live in an area with heavy traffic, your commute may be a daily struggle.
Freelancing, in many of these cases, has a number of advantages. Not all of these benefits will materialize for every person who works remotely. Depending on the type of job, however, you may reap some of the following advantages:
You can keep your children with you. Daycare can get expensive fast. If you have more than one child under school age, you may find daycare eating up all of your income. As a freelancer, however, you may be able to keep your children home while you work. As a freelancer, you can allow your kids the comfort and freedom of home while still contributing to your finances–including paying off your student loans.
You can create a schedule that works for you. Some work-from-home jobs, like freelance design or writing services, allow you to work whenever it’s convenient for you. Sometimes that means sitting down to work after your child is asleep or working during the same hours your spouse is at work. Other work-from-home jobs allow you to create your own schedule.
If you struggle to complete a full eight-hour workday, you may find that working from home offers you the flexibility you need to be productive. You don’t have to be stuck with a standard workday that leaves you feeling drained or unable to function. As a freelancer, you can work as many or as few hours as you like. Often, this can leave you with more energy for other tasks. It will make it possible for you to generate a little income even if you cannot work a full workweek.
You can work from anywhere. Do you have a spouse whose job requires them to move often? Military spouses, for example, may struggle to build a career due to the frequent moves. Working from home, however, allows you to easily take your job with you no matter where you go. With many professions, you can work on a plane or train, in addition to your actual home. As long as you have your laptop and an internet connection, you’ll likely be able to seize some employment opportunities that don’t require you to be in a specific place.
You can set up your home office according to your own needs. Whether you have special needs or you simply want to be more comfortable while you work, it’s all up to you in your own home. Your office can reflect your personal tastes and comforts. Your equipment can be selected based exactly on what you need. Often, this creates a much more comfortable working environment.
You don’t have to worry about a professional wardrobe. A professional wardrobe is an added expense that many people struggle to afford. When you work from home, you can work in your more comfortable, casual clothing. As a result, you can put the money you would have spent on clothing to better use: meeting your student loan payments, for example.
Which Remote Jobs Can Help Pay Off Student Loans?
Depending on the extent of your student loans, monthly payments may remain relatively low. Government loans, in particular, are designed not to put undue stress on people as they try to repay them. If your loans are relatively low, it can be fairly easy to pay off your student loans each month and even have a little extra spending money. Choosing the right work from home job, however, will depend on a variety of factors such as:
- how many hours you are able to work
- the amount of your energy and attention you need to dedicate to other tasks (like taking care of children)
- how much money you need to make
If you’re looking for a job as a freelancer or working from home, consider some of these great options:
Tutoring. Sites like VIPKid will allow you to easily connect with potential customers from the comfort and privacy of your own home, making it easier than you ever imagined to start tutoring. While VIPKid is intended primarily to help teach English to Chinese students, other websites may offer help to students in other subjects.
Freelancing. Take advantage of the skills you learned in college. Did you major in design? Creative writing or journalism? What about website development? Consider how you can develop a portfolio of freelancing clients to help expand your income from home. Try out sites like Upwork or 99designs to help build your resume. You can also:
- Contact your former professors to discuss how they can help you connect with potential clients in your area. Many of them may be glad to recommend a former student.
- Set up your website, and include some professional samples of your work.
- Look for private clients in your industry. Who would you love to work for? See if they need freelancers.
- Spread the word on social media.
- Let friends and family know you’re looking for freelance work in a specific industry. It’s a great way to get your name out there.
Call centers. Working for a call center without leaving home is a great way to make a little money on the side. LiveOps, for example, will allow you to take inbound calls and handle customer service concerns from your home. Amazon offers sales and marketing, as well as customer service positions from the employee’s home.
Social media management. Are you a whiz at handling social media marketing tasks? Start doing it professionally! Put together great posts, design ads, and find ways to help companies reach their marketing goals. Start by building your own social media presence and showing off what you can do. Follow companies that you respect and learn from their strategies. Then, start marketing yourself. You may connect directly with potential clients through social media or search job boards for available freelance work.
Create handmade crafts. Do you excel at a specific type of crafting? Set up an Etsy store that will allow people to see what you have to offer. Then start creating! You can make items and sell them as they are or accept custom orders, depending on your available time. Some skills you can put to use include crocheting, sewing, and making jewelry. This could even be a great place to put your essential oil knowledge to work or show off your woodworking skills.
How to Set Yourself Up to Work from Home
Are you considering working from home to help improve your income and pay off your student loans? There are several things you’ll need to get started–and making sure you have the right tools is the most effective way to help you achieve your goals.
Check your attitude. Working from home is not an opportunity to spend your days goofing off or hanging out with your children at the expense of your work. Instead, adopt a professional attitude. Be organized, get serious about your goals, and create the same professional atmosphere when you deal with clients at home that you would create in the office.
Make sure you have a solid internet connection. If you’ve been making do with the hot spot on your phone, now is the time to upgrade your internet. If your provider is unreliable, you may need to see what else is available in your area. Most types of remote positions require you to use the internet on a regular basis.
Check your computer. Working from a phone full-time probably won’t give you the functionality and flexibility you need, so make sure that your computer is functioning at peak efficiency.
Set aside a dedicated workspace. A workspace is particularly important if you’ll need to take video calls. You need a professional-looking backdrop to help make a great impression. Stay as organized as possible, just like you would in an office environment. Even if you don’t have a whole room to turn into an office, dedicate a specific space for your work tools.
Get a solid idea of your schedule. How much time each day do you have to work? When is it most convenient for you to work? If you have small children, for example, working during nap time may be your best option. You may also have a spouse’s schedule to work around or other difficulties.
Choose your industry. What type of work are you looking for? What industry interests you most? While you might be willing to accept work anywhere you can get it, you should narrow where you want to work or what type of work you want to do. When you narrow your focus, you make it easier to find exactly the type of work that suits you.